3 Embodiment Exercises to Start Your Self-Care Practice

3 Embodiment Exercises to Start Your Self-Care Practice

Hey there, it’s Dawn.

I’m back to talk a little bit more about embodiment tools and the three embodiment pillars that are foundational to my view of embodiment.

The three pillars of my approach to embodiment are:
1) Grounding into your body
2) Focusing on breathing
3) Using intentional movement

To help you understand how these pillars work together, I want to do a simple exercise that brings them into focus. The first thing you want to do is find a place to sit where you can ground your feet down into the floor, so you want to feel like you can sit upright on the edge of your stool, and I’m going to have you close your eyes. I’m going to keep mine open, but go ahead and close them, and I’m just going to lead you through a short body scan. With this awareness, we’re going to do a little breathing, and then I’m going to do a little movement.

Let’s start with the first piece. Go ahead and close your eyes and sit on your stool with your feet flat on the ground. I want you to notice and bring your awareness into your body and start to sense where you are in space. This practice is called a simple body scan. Start by bringing your awareness down to your feet. I want you to feel your feet on the floor and then go ahead and trace up your body with your inner eye.

Take your awareness all the way up through your legs and feel the upper bones of your legs connecting up into your hip sockets. Then go ahead and trace up through your spine and across your chest and down through your arms. You have a sense of your arms just hanging at your sides. Just notice if your body wants to make any adjustments as you bring awareness to it, so you may feel like you’re slumping a little bit. You want to find a little easier, more upright alignment, so make whatever adjustments, bring your body into more of a sense of ease, and an arrangement where you feel like you can take a deep breath.

 

The second piece, we’re going to go right into that breathing. So bring your hands to your belly actually and take a few deep inhales and exhales. With the inhale and exhale, for the first couple of times, I want you to notice where you’re breathing. Notice if you feel like you’re holding your breath in one area of your body or another or if you feel like you can take a deep breath all the way down into your abdomen. You feel like your abdomen area can expand with the inhale and contract with the exhale. If you feel like you’re holding your breath in your shoulders and your breathing is shallow, try to drop and relax your shoulders and bring your awareness down to your belly, so you feel a sense of filling in your abdomen as well as you inhale. Just see if you can start to deepen that breath.

We’re going to do a couple more breaths, and you will focus on the expansion and contraction of the breath. As you inhale, let your body expand. As you exhale, keep exhaling until you have fully emptied out your lungs, and you feel a deep contraction of the lungs. That exhale is going to help to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and bring you into a more profound sense of rest and restoration.

To add one last little piece to this- intentional movement. Go ahead and open your eyes. And all we’re going to do is just a simple spiral. So we want to connect that awareness of our breathing and our upright spine, and we’re just going to do a little twist side to side. You will inhale as you twist and exhale as you come back to the center. Using your eyes to look behind you will bring our vision into play and help you integrate your body awareness and your breathing as a foundation for movement,

After you have done a few spirals, close your eyes again, and I want you just to check back in, do a quick little body scan again, and notice if you feel any difference in your body. Do you feel more upright? Do you feel sensations in areas that you may not have felt feeling before? Just notice how you feel. Notice if you’re breathing any more deeply and if you’re more aware of yourself in space. And then open your eyes to finish the exercise.

That’s just a simple way to look at those three layers of the embodiment process. The grounding into your body brings you into sensing your body. The breathing piece starts to bring you into the movement of your body. And the intentional movement piece helps you to connect and use your awareness and your breathing to support the intentional movement of your body.

Embodiment is a tool for health and well being. Intentional movement can help you avoid injury, prevent injury and help you feel great daily, but it also helps you to get into your body and feel empowered in how you’re moving and intentionally being in your body on a daily basis.

So enjoy!

All the best,

Dawn

 

4 Ways To Use Online Tools To Grow Your Business And Serve Your Clients

4 Ways To Use Online Tools To Grow Your Business And Serve Your Clients

If you want to grow your body-centered in-person practice, at some point you hit a wall with seeing clients one on one. You only have so many hours in a day and only so many clients you can see in a day.

If you want to grow your body-centered in-person practice, at some point you have to figure out a way to leverage your expertise outside of your one on one time. You can expand horizontally by adding staff and growing the number of clients your business works with one one one. Or you can grow vertically by scaling your expertise.

One of the most organic methods to grow vertically is to begin to systematize your process, utilize online tools to create new tools and resources for your clients, and new income streams for your business. You can use online tools to work virtually one on one or in groups, create products and courses, reach new markets, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. 

There are several ways that you can begin to use online tools to leverage your expertise to reach new clients and further support your existing clients.

1. Create an E-Book– One of the simplest ways to get started leveraging your business online is to package up your expertise into an E-book that you can sell online to create a passive income stream.

2. Create a Virtual Workshop– A virtual workshop is a great way to try out using virtual delivery tools and leverage your one on one time into virtual groups. You can focus on tools and techniques that you already use and put them together in a new way to help your clients learn a new skill or introduce new clients to your work.

3. Create an Online Course– Creating an online course allows you to package up your expertise and sell it online. In an online course, you will package up your knowledge in a way that guides your clients through a process to solve their problems or achieve their goals.

4. Create an Online Membership- If you offer tools or techniques that help your clients with ongoing needs, you can provide a recurring online membership model. In this model, you can have a combination of online content and virtual coaching and instruction. Clients pay you every month, and you continue to add updated content to support them.

All of these options help you leverage your expertise in new ways and start to grow your income and impact outside of your in-person work. So how do you know which one to choose? And what is the first step to get started?

Which model you choose will depend on what you offer and the needs of your clients as well as how much tech set up you want to get started. So your first step is getting clear on the specific needs of your clients, choosing how to apply your expertise online, and choosing the right technology that you would like to use to deliver your online service or product. 

To get started with this, download my FREE Guide below or schedule a strategy session below to pinpoint your top opportunity to start growing your business online.

All the best,

 

Dawn

My Top Four Studio Models To Limit Your Overhead Risk And Grow Your Business

My Top Four Studio Models To Limit Your Overhead Risk And Grow Your Business

Are you considering starting a studio but have some fears about taking on the risk overhead? Or maybe you are considering shifting your studio business model to lower your overhead expenses? 

Owning a studio is a fantastic way to create community space around health and wellness, develop a team to grow your mission, and invest in your business. But overhead vulnerability is also very real. And having a studio space does require taking on financial risk. But the financial risk can be mitigated if you choose your model carefully and align it with your goals. 

There are many ways to limit your financial risk when if you want to start your first studio or if you want to change your current studio model to mitigate your overhead risk while you continue to grow your business. 

I have had at least four different models for my movement therapy practice and coaching practice over the last fifteen years. Now, just a disclaimer, a big studio model was never in alignment for me. My goal with all of my studio models was to create a collaborative space where I could grow my practice, support, and learn from others and minimize my overhead risk while maximizing my resources and profit. So all of the models I suggest are aimed more towards the solopreneur or collaborative space model, but they could also be useful for larger studios.  

So here are the top four models I love for creating and growing a studio without a lot of overhead risk.

1. Renting a space and subletting to other complementary practitioners- In this model, you will have at least one or more other practitioners who want to come on board and make a commitment to sharing the space with you. My first space in Minneapolis was specifically a rental space. I was the one with the name on the lease, but I had several Gyrotonic Instructors, a Pilates Instructor and a Reiki Practitioner helping to pay the rent and creating a community. The benefits of this model are that you can easily cover most of the rent each month, and you get to have a leadership role in creating the look and feel of the space and the community. 

2. Subletting from another Complementary Practitioner or Colleague- In this situation, the roles reverse. Rather than you holding the lease, you are the subletter. Subletting decreases your financial risk and space responsibility, and you get to benefit from the resources of the studio you are renting from and focus on your teaching. The downside of this is, although you have less financial risk, you may often pay more because you can’t offset your fees by renting to others. And in the end, it is not your space, so you have less freedom to create the kind of environment that you like.

3. Bringing your equipment to another studio and getting paid as a contractor- This model is one of my favorites. For years, I had my Gyrotonic Equipment within a physical therapy clinic. I operated as a contractor, but the PT clinic paid me more in exchange for bringing my equipment and adding value to the physical therapy business. The benefits of this were that I had a direct referral source and niche working with their clients. I got to learn a ton of working in an integrative medical care setting, and I was able to benefit from the branding, marketing, and resources in their space. The cons were that I had to fit within their brand and didn’t have a lot of choice about how I wanted my space to look and feel.  

4. The home studio- This may seem like the most straightforward option with the least financial risk, but it also has a lot of drawbacks. It is challenging to market your business and take on new clients because of the vulnerability of brining people you do not know into your home. Also, sometimes it is challenging to create the best experience for the client, depending on how conducive your home life is to creating a studio environment. Also, sometimes the work/home life can get blurred and make it challenging to separate work and home life. I see this model work best with people who have established client bases that they can comfortably bring to their home. And then grow with a slow trickle of referrals from trusted sources. 

So how do you know which model is the right one for you? Which model you choose will depend on your business and income goals, your niche, your comfort with risk, AND your personality. But in the end, whatever you chose, your model can always be changed. In my fifteen years of business, I have changed my studio location and model 5 times, and each evolution has helped me to grow and evolve my business in new ways.

So which one appeals to you the most? Are you looking to start a studio or transition your current one to a new model?

If you want to chat about what your top opportunities are for your new or evolving studio business, schedule a strategy session below!

All the best,

Dawn

WordPress or Squarespace- How To Choose The Best Website Software For Your Business

WordPress or Squarespace- How To Choose The Best Website Software For Your Business

 

A website serves many purposes in a business. It is a tool for your customers to find you online, a hub for them to connect to your products and services, a tool for content marketing, and it can even serve as a membership site to build loyal customers in your business.

There are a variety of software options available to serve your business needs at whatever stage you are at with your business. And the top two that I recommend are Squarespace and WordPress. So how do you know which software will best meet your business needs?

I have spent ten years designing websites for my own business and the businesses of my clients, and there are three top questions I have my clients consider when choosing a website software.

My Top 3 Questions to Choose Your Software

 

  1.  Do you want to DIY, hire a web designer, or do a combo (meaning you have someone set it up for you and then show you how to use it)?
  2.  How much upkeep are you willing to do or pay someone to do?
  3. Is it essential for you to have maximum flexibility of design and options for scaling your business website and are you want to get set up for the long game? Meaning…

-Do you want to build out your blog content to gain long term organic search traffic?

-Do you want to have unlimited design possibilities to utilize as you grow?

-Do you want to branch into e-commerce and membership sites without switching to a second platform?

-Do you want to be able to have more than one website without paying for more hosting?

DIYer…

If you are a DIYer and want minimal upkeep and want to get moving with a website without considering potential future needs, you can get started simply with a Squarespace site. Squarespace charges a monthly hosting fee (usually around $20/mo) but gives you ready-made templates to get up and running quickly. You can use Squarespace to get started with blogging and even get started with password-protected pages to use for client resources. The limitations of Squarespace are in the options for developing your design choices, creating a membership site, selling products or services (they charge a fee), and creating multiple sites (you have to pay for hosting for every site).

 

Long Game Growth….

For those who want more long term design options and growth possibilities, WordPress is one of my top choices. WordPress is an open-source software and has endless possibilities for design and growth. With WordPress, you pay for hosting and your domain name and the theme you would like to use, and the software is free. Your hosting account you can be used for more than one website installation, so as your business grows, you can add sites or even hosted pages for specific domain names that you use. With WordPress, you can add e-commerce, membership sites, and it is the best software for optimizing your organic search optimization on your blog.

The negatives with WordPress are that it can have a higher learning curve to get started using it, the software needs to be regularly updated, and you need to make sure you have the right hosting services to protect your site. I have heard a lot of comments over the years on negative experiences with WordPress security. These issues can usually be solved with the right hosting plan, making sure the software is updated and security services.

For WordPress, you want a hosting plan that provides a free SSL for your site, automatic WordPress updates, regular backups, security, and site optimization. My top two choices are Siteground and WPMU. Siteground has some great deals for getting started, and they offer add on services to make sure you monitor your site for security. WPMU service comes with a suite of plugins that keep your site running well and updated automatically! And you can host up to three websites.

If you are going to the WordPress route, I recommend using the Divi theme. It is an easy to use visual builder that you can quickly learn to use yourself. Similar to Squarespace, it comes with hundreds of templates that you can use to get started with a beautiful design quickly.

I have personally used WordPress and the Divi Theme for over ten years, and it has served me well as my business has grown. Using WordPress has provided me unlimited possibilities for design, hosting multiple sites without paying more for hosting, and even starting a membership site.

But if you are looking for a quick way to get started with minimal upkeep, Squarespace is your best bet!

To learn more about getting started online with your business, download my FREE Guide below or schedule a strategy session below to pinpoint your top opportunity to start growing your business online.

All the best,

 

Dawn

How to PIVOT Your Wellness Business Online For Long Term Sustainable Success

How to PIVOT Your Wellness Business Online For Long Term Sustainable Success

To say that the last month was a game-changer is an understatement. All of our daily lives and businesses have been affected in some way by COVID-19. And as time moves on, some of these changes may become permanent, and we may not return to “the way things were”…at least not in the same way.

We will, however, eventually go back to giving hugs and shaking hands, moving, and meeting in person again. But when we do, the landscape will have shifted, and we will have evolved and adapted, and the innovations we create during in time will, in part, become part of our new normal. So how do we move with the change and evolve our in-person businesses?  

The word PIVOT came to mind for me back in early March, and it has sprouted as a catchword for business owners to shift their services online.

The call to PIVOT your business and shift your in-person services online or create new products and programs meets the temporary need for physical distancing. And it offers an opportunity for brick and mortar businesses to envision a new approach to delivering your services with location freedom and a worldwide market.

I know many movement professionals and wellness practitioners that have made the quick shift to transfer their in-person services online.

For some people, this switch has gone relatively smoothly and has allowed them to continue serving their clients and keep revenue coming in their business. For others, switching to virtual is challenging. They struggle to replicate aspects of their in-person work that do not transfer well to virtual, or they are unsure of how to create the same value virtually as they did in person. 

Whatever camp you are in, it is clear that virtual delivery is here to stay for the time being and will change the landscape of how we do business in the future.

So how can you approach your pivot online NOW to stay grounded the value of your work and continue to create and evolve a sustainable business structure going forward?

So what is the best way to pivot online now to sustain your business? And how can the metaphor of the pivot guide your strategy to make the temporary shifts that also support you to evolve your business long term?

Let’s look at what a PIVOT is. 

A PIVOT, in movement terms, is a rotation around an axis. The pivot is a change of direction, but around a GROUNDED AXIS. And the central AXIS of the PIVOT is PIVOTAL. The person performing the pivot is shifting around an axis to align to a different point on the circle. 

To perform a pivot, you first ground into our core, then shift your eyes and focus on the direction you would like to pivot and then move your body to align to your focus.

This metaphor can help you during times of change by guiding the sequencing of your strategy in alignment with your core purpose and long term goals. How do you PIVOT on your AXIS to both sustain and evolve your business?

1) Stay grounded and connected to your physical core, your energy, and your practice.

  • Deepen your practice, keep breathing and moving and stay healthy in mind and body so you can have a clear account and continue to bring your best self to your life and business. 

2) Anchor into your core purpose- align your values, mission, and purpose. 

  • Get grounded in your core purpose, so you continue to anchor into what you value and the impact you want to create so you continue to take action in alignment with what you want to create.
  • How can you deepen your purpose by expanding your potential market and impact online?
  • Continuing to stand in the creator shoes will keep you in an empowered place and allow you to continue to lead and serve others at your highest level.

3) Hone in on your core value equation to align your messaging and service to the evolving needs of your clients?

  • How are the core problems that you solve for your clients the same, and how have new issues or goals emerged during this time? Is there a unique niche that you could tap into online?
  • How can you shift the messaging of offers you already have in place to meet the new and evolving needs of your clients?
  • How can you position your online services as a “new” level of service rather than a replacement for in-person work to leave space to both evolve online work as part of your model and return to in-person work in a new way?

4) Create a Core Strategy to shift your evolving business structures to BOTH sustain your business during the pandemic and to evolve and grow your model to move you towards your long term goals. 

  • What new business systems, structures, and service models can you create now that will sustain your business and keep you moving towards your goals?
  • And how can you evolve a long term business strategy that leverages your online work to elevate your in-person work?

With these point in mind, anchor into the bigger question of the pivot:

How can you BOTH allow your strategy to PIVOT while you stay grounded in your AXIS? How can you can powerfully co-create the evolving new normal in a way that deepens your purpose and leadership, expands your impact, and sustains and evolves your business?

How can you pivot in a way that allows you to stay the course AND navigate the changing path?

Let me know how these lands and what has worked for you? And what success and challenges are you having?

Join the conversation in my Facebook group for Body-Centered Business Owners Online.

Want to brainstorm in person (virtually:) Sign up for a Brainstorming Session to unpack the top opportunities for your business growth right now!

All the best,

Dawn